LU students to host event focusing on the importance of diversity

Black History Month may be coming to a close, but at Lamar University, diversity and inclusion remains at the forefront of the campus community.
On Tuesday, Mar. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Setzer Student Center Ballroom, two student organizations, LU Hispanic Society and the Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers, is hosting the Importance of Diversity panel.
Chemical engineering majors Bilda Montoya, president of the LU Hispanic Society, and Kelvin Elgar, president of SASE, said that the goal for hosting the event was to convey the struggles that many minority groups face and to inspire others to overcome their obstacles as well. importance-of-diversity
Elgar said the two organizations are hopeful that the event will expand the audience’s scope of understanding different backgrounds and why it is important to be inclusive. “Lamar University is a campus full of diversity, so it is vital that we have events like this to showcase the campus's rich student demographic. We hope that events like this encourage minority students and groups to share their culture. For those who are not part of the minority, we hope that they can be allies to these groups.”
The event will have three panelists: Ines Alvidres, local Southeast Texas artist and owner of Amarte Art Studio; Dr. Jomel Bajar, physical therapist and owner of Fesio Therapy; and Zahi Youwakim, principal engineer at Indorama. Each panelist will speak about diversity and the experiences they’ve encountered in their lives.
“As minority students on campus, it is very motivational to listen to the stories of minorities and the challenges they have faced. Listening to their stories is what has motivated us to host this event, so others may learn from them,” Montoya said. “This event is very important for the LU  community since it will showcase some challenges that minorities have overcome within the community. This event also will discuss the importance of diversity and hopefully encourage more students to participate in cultural events and share their own culture.”
Elgar and Montoya said the event is free and open to the public. For more information on diversity at Lamar University, visit